Welcome to my word for 2018: FLOW.
One Little Word is a project created and developed by Ali Edwards. If you so wish, you can sign up for a year-long workshop. It involves monthly creative prompts wherein you invite your chosen word into your life, reflect on it, and record how it is moving you.
Last year’s word, LIGHT was a good choice. I honestly can feel the changes it has inspired in me. To illustrate, as I type this, it is mid-December and I am exhausted. I came home from school today to see my big, beautiful Christmas tree toppled over, decorations broken and strewn across the carpet, right next to a super-sized pet accident. No, I’m not making this up. And I’m actually rather impressed at how calm I am. At other times in my life, something like this would have caused a headache, rage, tears and/or all of the above. When I walked in and saw the disaster, I shook my head, said “Wow”, and immediately started taking pictures because it’s just that damn absurd it’s actually funny. I tweeted out a sarcastic comment about Monday showing up on a Wednesday, and then I got to work cleaning up in silence.
This time last year was also very difficult. Among stupid things like pet accidents and things toppling over, my sister was also diagnosed with leukemia. Thankfully, I haven’t had anything that awful happen again this year (fingers crossed). While I was pondering my 2017 word, I knew I wanted to not let life’s heaviness weigh me down, because when I let the heaviness get to me, it usually drags me down for a long time. I chose the word LIGHT because I wanted to approach life with an emotional hovering above the events of the days: to approach everything with lightness. I distinctly and purposefully used my One Little Word in my grad school classes this summer. Despite the gnawing imposter syndrome that made me cry one afternoon, I reminded myself, “Lightly, Teri. Lightly”…and it all worked out just fine. In fact, I had a great time.
A few days ago I was thinking about words for 2018, so I looked at my journal entries from last year. FLOW didn’t appear on that list, and to be completely honest, it just popped into my head. The more I looked into it by researching definitions and quotations, the more it spoke to me. Here are some of the phrases that won me over:
- to run like water; move in a current or stream
- pour out
- smooth and pleasing continuity
- be plentiful; be full and overflowing
- rise of the tide
- continuous forward movement
- flux; fluid; expansion
- to be sure without breaking or splitting
- to accept, rather than resist a development
Here are some quotations that are speaking to me:
Water flows because it is willing.
Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
One who can learn to flow with the current as well as manage the current is the successful one.
Stay curious, stay open. Let your imagination flow, let your mind wander. Flow with, not against. Surrender from certainty.
Where focus goes energy flows.
Because my Chinese element is Water, FLOW is an excellent fit for my personality. FLOW is about easing up on control and opening up to the energy of life and of love. If I am more fluid, I hope that 2018 will be a year of unfolding and expanding.